11 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

One thing has remained constant for Tilly and the Wall: instead of a traditional drum kit playing the percussion role, member Jamie Pressnall tap dances the beat. If this is news to you, don’t run: give a sample listen and then try to resist Tilly’s charm. (It can’t be done.)  On their third full-length release, O, the band sounds more robust, more assured, and simply more rockin.’ While a generally cheery, exuberant vibe drives them (two guys, three gals), O is tempered with occasional doses of vinegar alongside the honey, and it all works beautifully. The stomping hoofwork of Pressnall (along with a whole chorus of foot-stompers) and the reverb-steeped vocals of Neely Jenkins and Kianna Alarid on “Pot Kettle Black” result in a track as full-bodied and driving as anything by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, while the layered atmospherics of “Chandelier Lake” is a clear nod to shoegazers everywhere. Guitarist Derek Pressnall’s lead vocal on “Alligator Skin” is a welcome complement to the sweet strains of Jenkins and Alarid’s harmonizing. Trumpets blare alongside angular guitars on “I Found You” and an uplifting, girl-group-meets-Lush aesthetic saturates the beautiful “Falling Without Knowing.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

One thing has remained constant for Tilly and the Wall: instead of a traditional drum kit playing the percussion role, member Jamie Pressnall tap dances the beat. If this is news to you, don’t run: give a sample listen and then try to resist Tilly’s charm. (It can’t be done.)  On their third full-length release, O, the band sounds more robust, more assured, and simply more rockin.’ While a generally cheery, exuberant vibe drives them (two guys, three gals), O is tempered with occasional doses of vinegar alongside the honey, and it all works beautifully. The stomping hoofwork of Pressnall (along with a whole chorus of foot-stompers) and the reverb-steeped vocals of Neely Jenkins and Kianna Alarid on “Pot Kettle Black” result in a track as full-bodied and driving as anything by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, while the layered atmospherics of “Chandelier Lake” is a clear nod to shoegazers everywhere. Guitarist Derek Pressnall’s lead vocal on “Alligator Skin” is a welcome complement to the sweet strains of Jenkins and Alarid’s harmonizing. Trumpets blare alongside angular guitars on “I Found You” and an uplifting, girl-group-meets-Lush aesthetic saturates the beautiful “Falling Without Knowing.”

TITLE TIME
2:57
2:50
2:27
2:36
2:20
4:16
2:56
3:05
3:12
2:33
3:16

About Tilly and the Wall

Hailing from the musical hotbed of Omaha, Nebraska, the indie pop anomaly Tilly and the Wall formed in 2001 out of the ashes of several groups -- including Conor Oberst's pre-Bright Eyes endeavor, Park Avenue -- and gained some underground recognition for their unorthodox approach to percussion, forsaking the traditional drum kit for the amplified tap shoes of dancer Jamie Williams (as well as hand percussion supplied by vocalists Neely Jenkins and Kianna Alarid). Rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Derek Pressnall and keyboardist Nick White (a contributor to Bright Eyes' live sets), the five-piece recorded a six-track demo titled Woo! in Oberst's basement that passed through enough hands to allow Tilly and the Wall an opportunity to tour. The group settled down to record, issuing a 7" titled 7 Inch on Rue Royal Records and subsequently convened to record their debut full-length, due out as the flagship release on Team Love, Oberst's sister label to Saddle Creek, in the spring of 2004. Released two years later, Bottoms of Barrels found a more confident and warmer sound from the band. Derek Pressnall and Jamie Williams married soon after its release, with fellow indie poppers Of Montreal serving as the wedding band. After another round of touring, O arrived in 2008, featuring several songs that showcased a louder, more aggressive side of Tilly and the Wall. The band appeared on Sesame Street performing a version of the ABC song, then struck gold with "Pot Kettle Black" as it appeared on TV ads and movie soundtracks. After taking a long break, the group returned in 2012 with a decidedly more strident and forceful musical approach influenced by politics and dance punk. Team Love released Heavy Mood in the fall of 2012. ~ Gregory McIntosh

  • ORIGIN
    Omaha, NE
  • FORMED
    2001

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